Overview of the Comprehensive Plan
What is a Comprehensive Plan and why is it important?
Since 1980, every Virginia locality has been required by State law to have a Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to guide and accomplish a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of an area which will, in accordance with present and probable future needs and resources, best promote the health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the inhabitants.
The Comprehensive Plan is general in nature, and with its accompanying maps, plats, charts and descriptive information, shows the locality’s long-range recommendations for the general development of the territory. Virginia Code § 15.2-2223.
The Comprehensive Plan is James City County’s Master Plan for guiding the physical development of our community. Once adopted, citizens, developers, County staff, the Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors use it to develop and implement a course of growth in the County. Essentially, the plan depicts where our community has been, where it is presently, where it wants to go and how it plans to get there.
Another important aspect of the Comprehensive Plan is its Land Use Map. Land Use designations shown on the map assist in interpreting the intent of the Comprehensive Plan and are used with land development standards specific to that designation when the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors consider certain development proposals, such as rezonings and special use permits. Learn more about Land Use designation
Topic areas that James City County’s Comprehensive Plan has addressed in the past include:
- Population (demographics, growth)
- Youth (transportation, facilities, programs, child care)
- Economic Development (commercial and industrial development, employment)
- Public Facilities (including schools, fire and police stations, Government Complex)
- Parks and Recreation (trails, County parks, neighborhood parks, sidewalks, blueways)
- Environment (resource protection, air and water quality)
- Transportation (road network, bikeways, public transportation)
- Community Character (corridors and areas, neighborhood appearance, historical sites)
- Housing (affordability, growth trends and type characteristics, assistance programs)
- Land Use (area designations, changes to designation, development trends, growth management)
- What is the Comprehensive Plan?
- Why do we need to Update it?
- The Process
- Why is the update called...?